Stormy weather packing high winds moves towards Vancouver Island


A storm packing high winds that has been dubbed a “bomb cyclone” by meteorologists inched closer and closer to Vancouver Island Sunday, resulting in windy weather, power outages and ferry cancellations.

BC Ferries cancelled 16 sailings on Monday due to a forecast calling for high winds that are expected to batter swaths of Vancouver Island and the western part of Metro Vancouver.

Cancellations will start at 5:15 a.m. on the Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay routes and at 6:15 a.m. on the Horseshoe Bay and Duke Point routes.

BC Ferries says it doesn’t cancel sailings lightly, because customers depend on the service to get to their destinations and that service will resume as soon as it’s safe. However, customers with bookings will be fully refunded.

Meanwhile, a wind warning issued by Environment Canada also covers the Sunshine Coast, with gusts expected to cause damage into Monday evening in some areas.

The agency issued a special advisory saying gusts possibly exceeding 100 kilometres an hour are expected over northern Vancouver Island, adding loose objects may be tossed by the wind or break tree branches.

“A very strong fall storm approaching the west coast will bring strong southeasterly winds to parts of the mainland coast tonight and Monday,” it says in a special advisory. “Southeasterly winds are expected to pick up in the overnight hours and peak Monday morning.”

MORE: Wind warnings issued for most of Vancouver Island

Special advisories have also been issued for eastern and northern Vancouver Island as well as the Gulf Islands and high winds are expected in Greater Victoria through Monday afternoon.

Environment Canada says winds are expected to ease Sunday afternoon before packing another punch as a low pressure system moves onto Vancouver Island and weakens.

How strong will the winds get and where will the strongest winds be? The strongest winds will be along the west coast of Vancouver Island where we could see wind gusts 100 km/h or even greater than that Sunday afternoon and into Monday as well.

Exposed areas around Georgia Strait will see strong winds as well with gusts up to 90 km/h and it’s being called a long duration event because things won’t die down until Monday afternoon.

The B.C. government has warned residents in areas expecting stormy weather and rain to be wary of flooding, and the Canadian Coast Guard says the weather may pose a challenge in the recovery of containers that fell overboard from a ship near Victoria on Friday.

Residents are urged to make sure their emergency kits are ready, be prepared for power outages.

With files from The Canadian Press

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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